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Awilco completes successful sea trial

LNG Industry,

The second of the first two LNG carriers to be ordered by Norwegian LNG transportation provider Awilco LNG has been delivered on time and on budget after concluding a successful sea trial.

Wilpride, like its identical sister the Wilforce, was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) at its shipyard near Busan, South Korea. Both are tri-fuel diesel electric ships incorporating induction-based electric propulsion motor technology from GE’s Power Conversion business. The Wilpride was handed over in late November, two months after the Wilforce completed a similarly incident-free sea trial.

For both vessels, GE supplied a complete system comprising of two 12.5 MVA and two 6.2 MVA generators, main and cargo switchboards, four transformers, two converters, two 11.5 MW motors and remote control. GE provided project management, system and equipment engineering, commissioning and assistance for sea and gas trials.

Awilco LNG now has five LNG carriers in its fleet. The company’s first three are all steam powered and the company has adopted a very tough policy on emissions as well as on spills. It also has zero tolerance for machinery breakdowns caused by inferior maintenance procedures.

GE’s electrical propulsion technology is a clean and reliable technology for sea-going vessels. The company provides extensive training for personnel operating its equipment.

GE’s induction-based propulsion motor technology has one of lowest maintenance costs compared to alternative solutions, and has one of longest service life and offers higher environmental benefits. Its combination of high-power pulse width modulation technology based on insulated gate bipolar transistors, together with robustly simple induction motor technology, provides ship owners with important operating advantages over the lifetime of a vessel.


When Awilco took delivery of the Wilforce in September, its Chief Executive Officer Jon Skule Storheill said: “We are very pleased to take delivery of the vessel, which is built to the highest standard and latest eco-friendly technology that we are looking forward to present to the market.”

DSME is a strong advocate of GE’s power and propulsion technology. In recent months, the two companies have partnered on 14 LNG carrier projects, four of which have recently been completed (two for Awilco and two for Maran Gas). The majority of the remaining 10 carriers will be delivered over the course of 2014.

A spokesman for DSME says there were numerous issues to confront during the design and construction stage of the two Awilco projects. “Thanks to your affirmative and dedicated effort, we could deliver both vessels to the owner excellently and satisfying the owner’s expectations,” he said. The spokesman praised the performance of the electric propulsion system during the sea trial.

Paul English, marine business leader for GE’s Power Conversion business, said that working with Awilco for the first time on the two new LNG carriers proved to be a positive experience. “Awilco has chosen electric power for the first time, but the company’s engineers were at the top of their game and very enthusiastic about our technology,” he said. “It was very stimulating working with them, and we enjoyed answering all their very astute questions.”

English continued: “The high level of cooperation between GE, DSME and Awilco played a key part in successfully completing the Wilpride project on time and on budget. Everything was very well executed, and it all went very smoothly. It was a great performance by all concerned. GE has the standard offering in power and propulsion for LNG carriers. But we also have the flexibility to fine tune systems to specific customer requirements.”

Adapted from press release by Ted Monroe

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